Dougherty and Balbirnie crush poor MCC
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
CIYMS skipper Chris Dougherty hit an undefeated 82 for Ireland A in their one-day game against MCC at Malahide yesterday but he was upstaged in a remarkable opening stand of 236 by Andrew Balbirnie.
The Middlesex professional finished 140 not out, with 15 fours and three sixes, as he continued his phenomenal scoring form. Last week he hit two centuries in the county 2nd XI game against Hampshire and, although he was dismissed for five playing for Leinster Lightning in the Twenty20 inter-provincial at Bready last Sunday, with this innings he surely booked his place in the Ireland team to face Sri Lanka A in the first of three one-day games, at Stormont on Wednesday week.
Dougherty was happy to play the supporting role, against a very limited attack – the MCC side had only two players with county experience – but still hit nine fours in his 91-ball innings as Ireland completed a 10 wickets win with almost 17 overs to spare!
The Ireland A bowlers, with that senior Ireland team to aim for, were not so impressive although Peter Chase ended up with five wickets in his second spell after he found his radar; he bowled five wides in his first three overs.
North Down’s James Cameron-Dow and Stuart Thompson completed their full 10 overs quota but had only one wicket between them to show for their efforts and Andy McBrine’s two wickets came at a cost of almost six runs an over. Craig Young was left out of the 11.
The most frustrated ‘Irishman’ was Nick Larkin. The North Down batsman, hoping to impress on his Ireland A debut, was number three but the closest he got to the middle was when Balbirnie should have been stumped on 77. It summed up MCC's day and a one-sided match. But then, after seeing the Club's line-up, there was always the possibility this would happen.
Scores: MCC 235-9 (50 overs, M Cassar 61, R Strydom 40, S Naylor 40; P Chase 5-39, A McBrine 2-52) Ireland A 236-0 (33.1 overs, A Balbirnie 140 not out, C Dougherty 82 not out). Ireland A won by 10 wickets.
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